Tuesday, May 25, 2010

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1970 Citroën DS21

After a few months, it's finally time to feature another French car. And I've had the good fortune to find one of the more important French cars, a Citroën DS.
San Francisco is a haven for French autos, bought by eccentric and supposedly cultured individuals who wanted something sexy, something different. They were often bought to make a statement. This fellow in the Lower Haight makes his statement with a 1970 Citroën DS21.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1973 Land Rover Series III

And now for something a little different. One of the earliest pioneers in what we now know as the sport-utility market was Land Rover, a company which began by reverse-engineering a Willys Jeep after World War II. This proto-SUV is the third evolution of the breed, the Land Rover Series III. The Series III was produced from 1971 through 1985. It is by far the most common of the "Series" Land Rovers, with over 440,000 built and sold.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1956 Studebaker President

The name President evokes grandeur, importance, celebrity status. But what about Studebaker? That name sounds a little less fancy. Studebaker was one of America's oldest car companies and this is the second one to be featured on this blog. President was Studebaker's top model in the 1930s, then was dropped after 1942. Then in 1955, the President was reintroduced as the premium nameplate on their cars. 1956 saw a much-needed redesign which brought the President more into the style of the day, with an upright front end and modest tail fins out back, although the basic body was the same as the 1953 model. In keeping with popular themes of the era, this '56 President also features bright chrome side moldings, two-tone paint and whitewall tires. V8 power was standard. Only 18,209 were built in 1956. The President series was dropped after Studebaker and Packard merged in 1958. Sales plunged further in a poor economy, and 1958 saw the advent of the "Packardbaker", a horrid mess that looked like a catfish. The President was now a lame duck and Studebaker changed its focus to the Lark compact.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1954 Chevrolet 3100

Coming from the CaliStreets Lite files is this 1954 Chevy 3100 pickup. Basically, that's anything I've shot but didn't get very many pictures of. It was getting dark; I had no tripod. You know how it is. This truck represents the end of an era at Chevrolet. 1954 was the last year of full-fendered pickups and the last full year of the Advance Design series that was introduced in 1947. GM got a lot of mileage from the Advance Design body, and the Stovebolt 235 six. Come 1955, everything would change. The 1954-style body actually continued into '55, but was replaced halfway through by the all-new 1955 models, which were finally available with the new-for-'55 small block V8. That means this could theoretically be an early 1955 truck, but 1954 is more likely.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dillon Beach Street Sighting - 1966 Ford Thunderbird

She looks a bit forlorn today, but this was one of the nicest American cars available in 1966. It's a Ford Thunderbird, a personal luxury coupe that featured one of Ford's biggest and most powerful engines. It was offered with a 390, but a 428 was also available, producing 345 horsepower. This one looks like it was originally equipped with a vinyl top, making it a Town Landau coupe, the best-selling trim level that year. It still has its original California black plates and original paint, or what's left of it.